Saturday, January 21, 2023

What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch is the third game I completed in 2023. And . . . wow. If you want to make the case that video games can be a unique art form, this is your prime example. 

 It’s a very short game. Two hours and change. I completed it in one sitting. And it’s not really a game in the sense that there’s no way to lose, and there’s not really any winning, or challenge, or puzzle solving. But I’m not sure I would call it a walking simulator either. 

 You explore a bizarre house, uncovering various stories of tragedy of the family who lived there. It looks great, and the stories are intriguing. The quirks of the house both present a mystery to solve and dictate how you navigate it, and its geometry is extremely well thought out to guide you through the story without wondering what to do next. 

 The way you experience the different stories you uncover is varied. One plays out as a Tales from the Crypt style comic book. Another lets you fly a kite. One simulates getting lost in imagination at a monotonous job by controlling reality and imagination with the right and left sticks, respectively. It does not get stale. 

And it is emotionally effective. A very tight and beautiful experience. It’s similar to Gone Home but without the mild puzzle solving, less freedom, and so much more . . . perfect. 

 Is it a game? I don’t know. It does allow you to play, a few times. 

 But it is art. 

 It’s a 10 out of 10.

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